Letters to the Editor

MIA gets award

The Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD) will be recognized on Tuesday for successfully promoting and sustaining diversity in our business practices at Miami International Airport. The Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) — the leading airport industry organization representing the governing bodies that own and operate commercial airports in the United States and Canada — is bestowing the award.

MIA received the Council’s Inclusion Champion Award in the Large Hub Airport category, which applauds our efforts to achieve significant minority inclusion in our business contracts, workforce recruitment and employee development. Specifically, ACI-NA commended us for the high level of participation by small businesses in our concession contracts, which reached 35 percent of total gross sales last fiscal year.

As the largest economic engine locally and in the state of Florida, we take great pride in our diversity and small business outreach. Nine of our 13 executive leaders are minorities: Six are Hispanic, three are African American and three are women. Of our 1,225-employee workforce, 84 percent are minorities.

Our weekly small business outreach program and maintenance contractor program have generated business for dozens for local contractors and have served as a model for other county departments.

The Inclusion Champion Award was especially rewarding because it has been a top priority of our director to diversify the food and retail offerings at MIA with a stronger presence of popular local vendors.

This prestigious national recognition demonstrates that MIA is committed to including all segments of our diverse community as we continue to propel the South Florida economy forward.

Joseph F. Napoli,

chief of staff,

Miami-Dade Aviation

Department, Miami